Making the Most of Dentrix: Do You Avoid Patient Collectibles?
Lauren Book — Dental Biller and Dentrix user of 13 years, eAssist Dental Solutions
Do you find yourself mentally running and hiding from patient collectibles? Sending patient statements often leads to long and sometimes difficult conversations with frustrated patients. Whether you send patient statements monthly, semi-monthly, or more often, it doesn’t have to be a dreaded time that consumes the administrative team’s day.
Let’s start with all the parts of patient billing that we absolutely love, and best practices that we know work for a practice.
- It is always best to communicate with your patients’ best interest in mind. Financial discussions can be hard, and you don’t want them to ruin the relationship that you worked so hard to build with your patients. Put yourself in the patients’ shoes and always strive to communicate in a way that makes them feel cared about and valued.
- Did you know that patients are increasingly more likely to check and respond to a text message than a phone call? Approximately 90% of patients have their cell phones with them 24/7, but 90% of those patients also ignore phone calls. So how do you get through to your patients? Texting patients, using a HIPAA compliant text messaging service, increases your chances of getting their attention and directing it to their past due account by way of a link to pay online. Make it so easy there’s no reason they can’t pay!
- We love using a dedicated billing line for patients to call about their balances. This frees up the main office phone line for patients that want to schedule. Put this number on all patient billing correspondence so they know where to go with billing questions.
- Our last best practice for patient collectibles is to have humans helping humans. The person on the other end of that dedicated billing line or text number needs to be a skill-based individual that has fantastic communication skills and works with patients in a way that compliments the culture of the office.
The billing experts at eAssist Dental Solutions know how to best leverage the robust tools and features of your Dentrix system to ensure all of these best patient billing practices. By utilizing Quickbill, Office Journal, guarantor note, and the comprehensive reports on outstanding patient collectibles, eAssist works diligently to ensure consistent cash flow into the practice.
In addition, your knowledgeable eAssist team makes detailed account notes so you can confidently collect outstanding balances when the patient walks in the door. And the best part? eAssist provides a dedicated phone line for patients to speak to your Patient Billing Specialist regarding their outstanding balances, keeping your office line free for scheduling patients.
Good patient billing practices are easy with Dentrix
With Dentrix Quickbill, you can schedule patient statements to be sent through a clearinghouse or to the patient’s email. Statements can be customized with comments in the guarantor note section of the patient’s ledger, and you can choose billing statement options based on the type of information you want to include.
There are obviously missteps in patient billing processes that can cause it to be an extremely stressful experience, and one that many offices would choose to avoid if they could. Instead of avoiding patient collectibles, focus on avoiding these missteps.
- Robo texts to patients that are calculated and impersonal will damage the relationship with the patients and cause feelings of distrust. While studies show that texting is the preferred communication method these days, you can maximize this communication method by customizing texts to make patients feel just as special and cared about as when they are in the office.
- Only communicating with patients via email is another way to damage trust and transparency. Putting up a constant digital wall between you and the patient doesn’t allow for personal care — and potential HIPAA compliance issues. Our best practice is to utilize a variety of communication methods with patients, and always sprinkling in personal phone calls so they can talk to a human if they choose.
- Auto-sending statements without any layer of personal touch falls into this category of practices we do not recommend. Dentrix has several features that allow a practice to customize statement options, statement notes, and more. Utilize these features when sending statements to communicate with patients, reduce billing questions, and show them that you care with your attention to detail.
Outsourcing this immense task to eAssist Dental Solutions unburdens the in-house team from the heavy workload that is outstanding patient collectibles. Combined with the powerful, user-friendly Dentrix solutions for collecting patient payments on the date of service, you can drive the success of the practice, feel confident that your practice is utilizing best patient billing practices, and finally stop running from patient collectibles.